Tag Archives: Jedi

What Would Living in the Star Wars Galaxy Be Like?

Contributor: Rick McGimpsey

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If it turned out that the Star Wars universe was real and you could go live there would you do it? There are a lot of people who would probably scream YES!!!
But the question I would like answered first is what would living in a Galaxy far, far away actually be like? It’s easy to say yes to things when we don’t think about them. But sometimes when we fully appreciate the complexities of accomplishing something we feel less enthused about it. Now I am not saying that if people knew what living in the Star Wars Galaxy would be like they would all say no. I am just saying that perhaps a brief little tour might be in order before we start looking at real estate on Coruscant.

Unfortunately before we begin a lot of arbitrary assumptions have to be made about one’s life in the Galaxy since it is a very diverse universe of species, planets,  employment, and time periods. A Jedi’s experience on Coruscant during the Clone Wars won’t be the same as that of a Czerka contract miner working on Tatooine during the Jedi Civil War. So before I begin describing life in the Galaxy I am going to take the liberty of presenting the reader with a basic profile of who you are, where you are, and when you are so there are less extreme variables that would pose severe flaws for this essay. I shall try to be as general as possible to give full freedom of exploration and movement, but some background is still needed.

So for the sake of this argument you are a human living somewhere in the Core Worlds like Coruscant, Alderaan, or Corellia about ten or twenty years before the events of The Phantom Menace. You are neither poor nor rich, but rather a middle-class university student who hasn’t decided on a career yet. And from there we shall go on.

Now we must start looking at the things you are going to need to know and be ready to deal with now that you live in the Star Wars Galaxy and no longer have our real life world as a frame of reference. I am going to divide these things in categories for convenience and will be operating under the assumption that the Legends continuity holds true for the Galaxy I am describing. As much as I like the new Canon there is too little detail in it to make this sort of post work.

LANGUAGE

You will still be speaking English, but now it is not called English. It is now called Galactic Basic and it is the common speech of the Galaxy.
Sadly this doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about having to learn a new language in the Star Wars Galaxy. Almost every citizen of the Republic also knows Huttese as a second language. Huttese is commonly spoken by Hutts, Twi’leks, and other species and it is not uncommon for humans and those species to interact in their own languages while understanding each other perfectly. Learning new languages isn’t too difficult, but it is time consuming and requires discipline to avoid getting lazy. But if you persist at it you should do fine, especially if you are immersed among speakers of the language you are trying to learn.
Also another major inconvenience is that you are going to need to relearn the alphabet. The Latin alphabet we use is also used there, but it is rare and is a very formal high-class writing method not favoured by common people. Most writing in all the signs and books you will see in the Galaxy will be written in Aurebesh which is the standard alphabet of the Republic.

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Memorise that and you should be good. There is also a Mandalorian alphabet, but I think you could survive without knowing it for awhile.

HISTORY

With the real world no longer a viable frame of reference a lot of reeducation is going to be needed. One thing you are going to need to relearn drastically is history. Knowing about the Crusades, the World Wars, and the Columbus voyages won’t help you because those things didn’t happen here.
You have new wars, new events, and new dates to learn and memorise all over again!
And 35, 000 years of Galactic history is nothing to scoff at either. In the real world human history is only about 10,000 years old and only about 6000 or 4000 years of that is even required learning to live in our world. The Star Wars Galaxy covers a wider span of history that involves hundreds of worlds and species. You will need to learn of the Rakatan Infinite Empire, the Fall of the Sith Empire, The Sith War, The Mandalorian Wars, The Jedi Civil War, the Sith Triumvirate, the Ruusan Reformation, and a bunch of other things that will make all the homework you need to catch up on a major headache. And that is nothing compared to the local history you are going to need to learn. If you live on Alderaan, for instance, you are going to need to study the Organa-Ulgo feud in addition to the expansive Galactic history you already have on your plate. Good luck. You’re gonna need it.

DATING AND CALENDARS AND UNITS OF MEASUREMENT

So what day is your birthday? What days of the week do you need to go to work? What time is it? These questions may be difficult to answer now that you are in a new environment that does not use the same calendar we do.
The Standard Week in the Republic has 5 instead of 7 days which are as follows:

  1. Primeday
  2. Centaxday
  3. Taungsday
  4. Zhellday
  5. Benduday

Seven weeks make a month and 10 months, 3 festival weeks, and 3 holidays form a standard year consisting of 368 days.
And for years you can forget the BC/AD dating system since the events that system marks aren’t relevant in the Galaxy. After the destruction of the second Death Star and the formation of the New Republic a system using BBY/ABY (Before Battle of Yavin and After Battle of Yavin) will be employed but since we are in the pre-Clone Wars era a different system that was not specified to my knowledge in the EU is used.
Most standard units of measurement are the same, but if you are an American you are gonna need to learn the Metric system and Celsius since those are used in the Republic rather than the Imperial and Fahrenheit systems.

GEOGRAPHY, ASTROGATION, FLORA, AND FAUNA

If you plan on traveling the Galaxy much you are gonna need to learn Hyperspace routes and what the different planets are. The frequent stops for a traveler doing business of any kind will be places like Coruscant, Alderaan, Corellia, Manaan, Nar Shaddaa, Naboo, Bespin, etc. You will need to learn where they are on the Galactic map, what sort of terrain they have, local customs, what cities, mountains, forests, rivers, and nations are on them, and you will obviously have to learn about traveling expenses, visas, and other arrangements. And if you don’t have a good droid or Wookiee to help you, you might want to learn how to pilot a ship.
And each planet has its own variety of plants and animals. There are dogs, cats, and horses in the Galaxy, but they seem to be a rarity. Instead you are going to have to contend mostly with such oddities as firaxa sharks, bomas, drexl, Eopies, Kaadus, kath hounds, kinrath, mynocks, and nerfs. And it is the same thing with plants too. All of this points to how alien the Star Wars Galaxy is to us. However, one of the apparent advantages is that new advanced medicines have been designed that can heal injuries that we cannot heal in our world. Bacta and kolto are medicinal products of the unique ecosystems that exist within this Galaxy and have worked wonders from severe plasma burns to wampa attacks.

NEWS, ENTERTAINMENT, AND FOOD

Do you wanna watch TV? Or a movie? Well the closest equivalent in the Star Wars Galaxy is the HoloNet which broadcasts news reports and programmes regularly via hologram. As for movies there are Holovids which are fairly popular in the Galaxy. Some well known classics are Quest for Quasar, Rodian Kisses, Zeltrons in Love, and Easy Spacer. Just know that if you love Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Supernatural, or DC and Marvel comics you are going to live without them since they don’t exist in the Galaxy.
Also if you are craving pizza you are gonna face a sad reality that such a delicacy was never invented in the Republic or the Outer Rim. But if you like bantha steak or blue milk you are in luck! And while there is no coffee there are the equivalents caf and coffeine. And thanks to Timothy Zahn hot chocolate exists in this Galaxy.
In the mood for a game? Well we don’t have any Monopoly, Poker, or Skyrim. But the Galaxy does have the holographic chess game Dejarik. And there are card games like Pazaak and Sabacc you can play. And if you like NASCAR perhaps Swoop Racing or Pod Racing will be an apt replacement for you.
Like music? Well Figrin Da’an and the Modal Nodes are a popular Bith jazz band that frequents cantinas around the outer rim. You might be able to catch them on HoloNet one of these days.
Do you like social drinking? There is no Budweiser, but there is Juma Juice and Corellian whiskey.For a few credits you may find some in any local cantina. But if anyone offers you death sticks just say no.

ECONOMICS AND GOVERNMENT

Now that you are living in this Galaxy you are going to need to adjust to the new government of which you are now a citizen. In the Pre-Clone Wars era The Galactic Republic is an ancient edifice that has stood the test of time; surviving a history of wars, inner conflicts, and the differing political philosophies of the many cultures claiming membership. If you have ever taken a civics class you will undoubtably be aware that you will need to learn how the Galactic Senate functions, what the Senators and Chancellors do, what the Constitution contains, and who is in office at the time.
You will also need to learn the value of Republic money. The standard currency of the Republic is the Republic Credit which is acceptable throughout the Core Worlds and the Mid Rim. Out in the Outer Rim Territories and Unknown Regions you may run into trouble using Republic credits but for regular usage you should be fine.

ALIENS, DROIDS, AND THE FORCE

Most of the things I have mentioned are more or less replacements or equivalents to things we have here. But there are some things in the Star Wars Galaxy completely unique to itself.
In our world we do not (as far as we know) interact with aliens, but in the Star Wars Galaxy alien species are commonplace and to be seen everywhere. In addition to all the humans there are Rodians, Wookiees, Ithorians, Bith, Twi’leks, Quarren, Zabrak, and other denizens who enrich the Galaxy with a wide range of cultures, traditions, and beliefs. They also have unique anatomies which you would no doubt learn of in your travels. For instance, Wookiees have long life spans. Chadra-fans have two hearts which they can donate the way we do kidneys. Gand can drink dangerous toxins like alcohol. All these new creatures will create a fun, new learning experience. Just try to avoid prejudice and racial bias. Don’t call a Quarren “squid-head” and never refer to Tusken Raiders as “Sand People.”
You will also become acquainted with droids which are a controversial topic for many in the Galaxy. Some hate them, some are annoyed by them, some can take or leave them, and others form strong bonds with them and regard them as friends. Whatever stance you may take be prepared for the very harsh reality that droids have no rights in the Republic. But if you wish to buy one and make friends with it you certainly may do so if you have the credits. Just don’t expect to be able to bring them into a cantina. They won’t be welcome.
But, probably the most unique part of the Galaxy is the Force. You will find some in the Galaxy who are skeptical as to the reality of the Force citing it as nothing more than simple tricks and nonsense, but the fact remains that there is a mystical energy field that permeates all life in the Star Wars universe that is created by life and connects all living things together. Those especially attuned to the Force can manipulate its energies to lift objects, achieve otherwise impossible physical feats, influence others, and even generate lightning and storms.
Even if you are not a Force-sensitive yourself studying Jedi philosophy (or Sith philosophy if you are into that sort of thing) might be worth your while. There aren’t many Baptists or Catholics in the Galaxy, but there is a large number of Republic citizens who respect and venerate the Force and being aware of it and respectful toward it may gain you some respect and prestige among Republic citizens and Jedi. At least for the next 20 years anyway. When the Jedi Purge hits you may want to pipe down a bit. And on that topic you might want to move away from Alderaan in a few years. Trust me.

If you manage to get all these things down you may have a fighting chance of being successful in the Star Wars Galaxy. With time, patience, and energy living there might be doable. That is if it was real of course. Either way only you know if it is worth it. If it is then you have taken your first steps into a larger world.

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Top 10 Things You Don’t Say to Star Wars Fans

Contributor: Rick McGimpsey

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  1. I don’t get why people think the Original Trilogy is better. The Prequels had much better special effects.
  2. I really can’t stand Ralph MacQuarrie and Drew Struzan. Their artwork really sucks.
  3. So you’re a Star Wars fan? Is that the one with the guy with the pointed ears?
  4. I am sorry but The Empire Strikes Back is too dark and lacks the subtle charm of the Holiday Special.
  5. I really hate how people are taking a dump over the EU. I miss Jaxxon the green rabbit, C3PX the assassin protocol droid, and that prequel story in the Marvel comics where Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Luke’s father fight in the Clone Wars together. That was the hey-day of Star Wars lore!
  6. After the Original Trilogy there were released in the 80’s two direct-to-video Ewok movies that no one seems to remember. I am disappointed that after the Prequels no one did that with the Gungans. Caravan of Boomers? Battle for Otoh Gunga? Those would have been awesome.
  7. I don’t understand why they are getting characters like Han Solo to return to the Sequel Trilogy. Harrison Ford is a bit washed out ain’t he?
  8. Those Clone Wars and Rebels cartoons are so irritating. Did Star Wars suddenly become for kids or something?
  9. John Williams’s score is overrated. Lucas should have stuck with classical music as he originally planned.
  10. I think Greedo shooting first, the blinking Ewoks, and Vader’s “Noooo” yell have overall improved the Star Wars experience making the films infinitely better than they ever were before.

Next month: Top 10 Things You Don’t Say to Star Trek Fans

How to Watch Star Wars

Contributor: Rick McGimpsey

Star Wars is arguably the most influential pop culture phenomenon in the world. Everyone knows what it is and recognises the characters as household names that only living under a rock would allow you to be ignorant of. Love it or hate it, everyone must agree that Star Wars is a major influence on our culture with six films spawning TV shows, spin-off films, books, comics, toys, and various merchandise.
However, what many people do not agree on is how Star Wars should be viewed. People have various opinions on what order the films should be watched and there has been no consensus.
In this post, I am going to present five different ways the series can be approached and I will explain the merits for each, but shall provide no argument as to which ones are better. To each their own, I say. Let the reader decide which suits them best.

I. The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of Anakin Skywalker

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This is the viewing order that George Lucas regards as the closest to his vision. Here we approach Star Wars as the story of Anakin Skywalker’s destiny to bring balance to the Force over a period of two generations of the Skywalker family. We see Anakin’s humble beginnings as a poor slave on Tatooine and his rise to a trainee of the Jedi. The seductive nature of the Dark Side grows too strong as he grows and he succumbs to the temptations of Darth Sidious leading to the rise of the evil Galactic Empire and his transformation into Darth Vader. A rebel alliance led by heroes such as Anakin’s own son, Luke Skywalker successfully defeats this Empire, returning democracy to the people and accomplishing Vader’s redemption where he completes his destiny by destroying the Emperor Sidious and bringing balance to the Force.
The upcoming sequel trilogy will undoubtably act as a continuation or epilogue to this saga.

The order:
1. Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace
2. Star Wars: Episode II: The Attack of the Clones
3. Star Wars: Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith
4. Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope
5. Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
6. Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
7. Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens
8. Star Wars: Episode VIII
9. Star Wars: Episode IX

II. The Legacy of the Skywalker Family

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This is the preferred viewing order of most people (including myself) you meet on internet forums and other residences of geek culture.
This method shows Star Wars as an epic adventure about a Rebel Alliance battling an evil despotic Empire. The youth, Luke Skywalker, discovers his destiny to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi Knight as his father was. In a heroic journey he learns that Lord Vader is none other than his father, Anakin Skywalker corrupted to the Dark Side. As he and his friends strive to defeat the Empire he leads his father to redemption and bringing back balance to the Force.
After this is over, we take a glance nearly 35 years in the past where we see the events prior to Anakin’s downfall and the birth of the twins Luke and Leia Skywalker.

The order:
1. Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope
2. Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
3. Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
4. Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace
5. Star Wars: Episode II: The Attack of the Clones
6. Star Wars: Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith
7. Star Wars; Episode VII: The Force Awakens
8. Star Wars: Episode VIII
9. Star Wars: Episode IX

III.  The Star Wars Trilogy

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This method of approaching Star Wars is the pinnacle of hardcore purism. People who watch Star Wars this way angrily dismiss the Prequels as a slap in the face to the “only good trilogy”, sticking to the original edits without the special edition alterations that Lucas had insisted on incorporating in 1997 and continued to do so in 2006 and again in 2011.

The order:
1. Star Wars (1977 edit)
2. The Empire Strikes Back (1980 edit)
3. Return of the Jedi (1983 edit)

IV. A Hero’s Journey

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For those of you have seen The Godfather Trilogy, you know that in the second film we witness a series of flashbacks to the rise of Vito Corleone as the Don mixed in throughout the story. This order of viewing Star Wars I am gonna discuss is similar to how that narrative structure.
We begin with A New Hope and move on through The Empire Strikes Back as the second and third methods above did.
At the end of Empire we get the startling revelation that Darth Vader is none other than Luke’s father. However, in this method, before we unveil the climactic finale, we shall take a look back at Anakin Skywalker as a young man being trained by Obi-Wan Kenobi before his eventual turn to the Dark Side. In a shocking flashback sequence we see the truth that Darth Vader is indeed Luke’s father as well as Leia’s. We see the origins of the Empire, the Death Star, and the apparent annihilation of the Jedi Order.
After this dark revelation we witness the triumphant conclusion of this epic saga about love, betrayal, and loyalty.

The order:
1. A New Hope
2. The Empire Strikes Back
3. The Attack of the Clones
4. The Revenge of the Sith
5. Return of the Jedi
6. The Force Awakens
7. VIII
8. IX

Note: The Phantom Menace is completely excised from this viewing order which means if you are a fan this is not for you.

V. The Star Wars Saga

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This method incorporates every element of the Star Wars canon as well as the expanded universe. The viewer lets it play out in chronological order seeing the amazing wealth of history in the Star Wars Galaxy.
Obviously I cannot produce an exhaustive list, but I shall make a list showing what I personally view as the essential stuff for hardcore Star Wars fans interested in the expanded universe.

The order:
1. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
2. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
3. Star Wars: The Old Republic
4. Star Wars: Cloak of Deception
5. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
6. Star Wars: The Approaching Storm
7. Star Wars: The Attack of the Clones
8. Star Wars; The Clone Wars (this includes the movie, and two TV series)
9. Star Wars: Labyrinth of Evil
10. Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith
11. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
12. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
13. Star Wars: A New Dawn
14. Star Wars: Rebels
15. Star Wars: A New Hope
16. Star Wars: Splinter of the Mind’s Eye
17. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
18. Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
19. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
20. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
21. Star Wars: VIII
22. Star Wars: IX
23. Star Wars: Legends: Heir to the Empire
24. Star Wars: Legends: Dark Force Rising
25. Star Wars: Legends: The Last Command
26+: Star Wars: Legends: The Rest of the E.U.

This is of course an imperfect list, but it’s the stuff I would make use of personally. The list is more flexible than the others, and can be altered at the ease of the reader.

And there you have it. Choose which of these five methods work best for you, and enjoy. May the Force (with or without Midi-Chlorians) be with you!